How Is the Tea Party Doing During Vote 2010?

Outspoken Tea Party Candidate Christine O'Donnell Loses Senate Bid

ByABC News
November 2, 2010, 8:45 PM

Nov. 2, 2010 — -- The more-than-35-candidates backed by the Tea Party movement finally are learning if their fervent campaigning paid off and will land them a seat in Congress, with several of the grassroots organizations' so-called leaders already succeeding in the polls.

Dan Coats is projected to defeat Democratic Rep. Brad Ellsworth in Indiana and in South Carolina, incumbent Sen. Jim DeMint -- branded early on in the campaign season as one of the leaders of the Tea Party movement -- won another term.

In Kentucky, where polling places were among the first in the nation to close, Tea Party favorite Rand Paul was projected to win the Kentucky Senate race, defeating Jack Conway, the state attorney general.

One of the first projected losses of the evening came in Delaware, where the outspoken and often-controversial Tea Party candidate Christine O'Donnell was projected to lose to Democratic opponent Chris Coons, according to ABC News exit-poll projections.

Preliminary exit poll data indicated that nearly 50 percent of voters saw the Tea Party movement unfavorably and fewer than 25 percent saw it favorably.

Preliminary data indicated that more Delaware voters saw the Tea Party movement unfavorably, 45 percent, than favorably, 38 percent. Fewer, 22 percent, saw it strongly favorably.

Voters who felt like the government should be doing more favored Coons by an 86-to-13 percent margin.

Republican Marco Rubio, another Tea Party candidate, also has been projected to win in the race for the U.S. Senate seat in Florida.

According to exit poll analysis, Rubio owed his win partially to conservative voters who turned out in proportionally greater numbers. Also, more than half of voters worse off financially cast their ballot in support of Rubio, who also won among those voters who said their financial situation has remained unchanged.